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Port Washington (NY) Moms on the Run duo Nicoletta Gargas and Laura Neville have been friends for more than a decade and running partners for just over a year. One year after joining Moms on the Run, they ran their first half marathon to celebrate their half-century birthdays.
Nicoletta shares: "I still cannot believe that we ran a half marathon. It seems so surreal. Thanks to Moms on the Run and my amazing friend and running partner, Laura, it was possible. I also need to mention my husband, Tom. He was very supportive!"
Read on to learn as Nicoletta shares more of their story.
Q: So, you’ve been friends for several years. How did you meet and what qualities do you most enjoy about your friend?
A: We met about 11 years ago when our children were in daycare and were also pregnant with our youngest at about the same time. Laura and I ‘get’ each other. She’s the yin to my yang. A friend I cherish very close to my heart.
Q: How long have you been a part of Moms on the Run? Have you always been a runner or what encouraged you to start?
A: We both joined MOTR together a little over a year ago. It feels much longer based on the friendships we’ve made. I was never a runner nor desired to run. I was the girl in high school who always had pain on my side when it was time to run around the track so I could be excused. Our MOTR group has different levels. I never felt that I was keeping someone back or vice versa. We all try to keep each other on track, even on the not so great day. Denise Paredes is a great and inspiring coach. She rocks!
Q: Tell us about your goal to run a half marathon before you turned 50.
A: I went to Ireland to watch my husband run the marathon in Dublin of October 2017, and was awestruck and inspired. So many shapes and sizes and everyone having a smile on their face. When I came back and mentioned this to Laura she said let’s start running together! Laura found MOTR. Once we joined we decided to run a half marathon the year of our 50th birthdays: the Bridgehampton Half Marathon in May 2019. We also ran our first 5K in September of 2018 and our town's Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving Day. It was super cold that day but we didn’t give up. All I can say is we had butterflies for all three races.
Q: What’s up next? What’s your next big goal?
A: Nothing specific in the horizon other than staying fit and being a great example to my children. Who knows, I may start traveling for half marathons.
Q: Please share a little about you personally (family, work, background, hobbies, etc.).
A: Mom of 3 (15, 13 and 9) who wants to be as healthy and positive for my children as possible. It sure helps that my husband runs and I can now join him, especially when we’re on vacations! I work part time as an accountant and love it!
Q: What would you say to someone who is just getting started on their running journey?
A: “Take it one day at a time and listen to your body.”